The importance of planning ahead is prevalent in almost every aspect of life. Whether it is your plans for the week or where your children will be going to school in a few years, having a detailed idea of what the future may look like can be vital for your future success, especially in the case of an unexpected tragedy. Medical emergencies happen, as do unexpected losses, and having your living trust documented and mapped out beforehand can be a big relief to surviving family and friends.
A living trust is an entity used to distribute your assets after death. It is not the same as a will. The living trust, also occasionally referred to as the revocable trust, can oftentimes go hand-in-hand with a will, but that is dependent on your and your living trust attorney’s discretion. Planning your living trust well in advance of any possible tragedy is highly recommended and, with the help of a dedicated and knowledgeable living trust attorney, can be an easy and quick process.
Though they essentially serve the same purpose, a trust and a will are different. While both serve to distribute your assets after death and both enlist beneficiaries to receive the assets and fiduciaries to control the distribution, there are key differences to understand before choosing which to go with. Often, it is recommended you have both. Some key differences to understand include the following:
A will goes into effect the day you pass away. However, the trust is effective the second you sign it. This does not typically have much effect on the trustee, however, it does mean a successor trustee can help make important decisions in the event of you being incapacitated.
A living trust is revocable, meaning at any point you can reverse the effects of the will.
Once you have passed and the will goes into effect, your surviving family goes into the probate period. This period is where the executor goes through the official process of distribution. There is no probate period with a living trust, as it is already in effect. This can save your surviving family months of stress and attorney fees.
However, a trust is typically more expensive upfront, as you have to pay for maintenance. It is also commonly more expensive to draft. To determine which is ultimately more cost-effective for you and your family, a living trust lawyer in Orlando can go over your various options.
When entering the probate period, your will is filed with the court and becomes public record. Your trust is a private entity, only accessible to the fiduciary and the beneficiaries.
When it comes to estate planning, having anything is better than nothing. A living trust is a way for you to ensure your family and friends immediately have access to your assets and property once you have passed, with no probate period. It also allows for your successor trustee to help with important medical decisions in the case you are incapacitated or unable to make vital health decisions.
If you decided to go with a living trust, you may also decide to have your living trust attorney help with a pour-over will. This will accompany your trust, and is designed to catch any missed assets upon your death. Not having a living trust or any form of estate planning means the state of Florida categorizes you as having passed intestate. This means state laws will dictate how your property is divided and to who. If you have any heirs, it is common that everything will be distributed equally.
If you are unsure of what exactly would be best for you in the process of planning your estate, a dedicated living trust attorney can help advise you. They will help you navigate through your best legal options, considering your property, assets, family, and final wishes.
Additionally, if you ever have any changes or accommodations to your estate plan or living trust, a Orlando living trust lawyer can help best accommodate your new wishes. Life is constantly changing and evolving, and it is vital your living trust does so as well.
Fighter Law recognizes the sensitive nature of the estate planning process. Once you partner with our team of knowledgeable and board-certified Orlando living trust attorneys, you have a partner for life. We will be there from the beginning of the initial consultation all the way to the end, when your assets are distributed. We take pride in making this process as easy and efficient as possible.
Protect your estate and your family’s future today by scheduling a consultation with Fighter Law. We can be reached by phone at (407) 344-4837 or through our online contact form.
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